One of our boys, Collin, was scared spitless to try zip lining. But the youth group is going soon and he wanted to be a part. In this season of finding new belonging and new community after a pretty major church move/disruption, we find ourselves stretching out of our comfort zones on every side! And our kids experience it too. They’re having to find new buddies and new mentors and new comfortable grooves that feel familiar in the uncomfortable, unfamiliar places.
Rewind to Saturday family day. We went to the zoo. Perfect family trip and squished in there was a God moment that had me all weepy like a mother. I’m already a walking devotional book, and that moment was no different! There is a zip line in the middle of the zoo, and I watched as my husband gently but firmly insisted that Collin try it. His pep talk included things like, “ I want you to do it now because you’re like me. I know you’re nervous that your stomach will ache or that it will be scary. But I need you to trust me. You’re made like me, AND zip lines are amazing. If I think they’re fun, I know you will too.” The boys geared up, and we videoed, cheered, and ran around to meet them on the other side. As Colin zinged down the last of the zip line to meet us, he had a huge smile on his face. He was so proud that he had done it! One of the things he said was, “it was an absolute blast and I loved it! I’m so glad I tried it here with you guys, so that I won’t be scared when I do it with the youth group.”
I looked at Daron teary eyed. My mama heart bursting for all kinds of reasons. But especially as I watched my husband model God for our kids. First, he reminded Collin that he was his son; he was made like his daddy. Also, Daron didn’t throw him in the deep end, or disregard his discomfort, or shame him for being scared of some thing that would be fun. He simply found a safe, effective way… That did actually cost us more money, but helped put our boy at ease and build his confidence for some thing we knew he could do. And this is like our heavenly father. He reminds us that we are HIS kids. We are made in His image and He knows our frame.
Sometimes it can feel like he throws us in the deep end and we’re floundering. But he’s right there cheering us on, AND he has prepared us in so many ways for that moment. There are things he wants us to feel and learn and experience that grow us! And sometimes what feels like the deep end??? He’s really still just got us in the kiddie pool. He knows that we need to flounder a bit to taste success in a way that will allow us to fully embrace the kingdom adventure he has waiting for us.
If you are today doggy paddling your way through something that feels scary…look up. The life preserver is right there. He is with you holding you up. And he’s not ever going to give us more than we can handle in HIS strength! He’s got such good things in store for you, good plans to prosper and bring joy and fullness. In your season of waiting, you are in preparation! And just like Collin got off that zip line and looked at us with gratefulness and self-confidence and pride. There is going to come a day when you will be able to look back at this season you’re in right now as you lean in wholeheartedly towards your father God who loves you, and see the ways His gracious goodness was bringing you in through the preparation to a place of beauty, growth, breath, and restored life!